Who are the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority?
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland are tasked with inspecting and regulating the health and social care delivered by registered care services within in Northern Ireland. Ensuring that they are reaching the minimum agreed standards of service quality by conducting reviews of governance arrangements, thematic service reviews and reviews commissioned by the Department of Health. RQIA’s core role is assuring the public by publishing results and reporting outcomes with regards to the services provided being of a particular quality. Sysco’s team discuss with Sandra McElhinney – Head of Information and ICT at RQIA on her thoughts on Sysco’s implementation of Microsoft Dynamics at RQIA.
What was RQIA’s position prior to Dynamics?
RQIA had a huge number of disparate databases and records stored on a wide range of media types. Some on paper, some that were electronic, some that were in Microsoft Excel or Access. RQIA needed to consolidate those records and find an integrated platform that allowed us to record, capture, monitor and report using the information provided by our legacy platforms.
We needed an integrated platform and as well as that we needed a singular and standardised way of doing things in RQIA. Doing this project has brought about a lot of standardisation and has helped us not just with building the system but looking at leaning out our procedures, making them more efficient in looking at everybody’s roles. Dynamics has helped us administratively as well as with our intelligence and performance.
We decided that we needed a solution that was off-the-shelf rather than bespoke. We made a strategic decision at board-level to go for a platform that was off-the-shelf but to build into our terms and conditions that we needed to tailor it to the needs of RQIA. CRM was perfect in that it was off-the-shelf but we were able to tailor all of our case management exact to our procedures. It also means we have the flexibility to bolt-on new modules. We have a solution that allows us that if we have a new procedure or even add a new arm to the business that we can use what we have already invested in to build more and add-on.
Sysco have almost in a sense become members of staff because they are working with us so closely and they know every aspect of our business and to a degree they know it sometimes better than our own staff. They get right into the detail of what a process and procedure needs to be and how it needs to operate so that they can design the best system to suit your needs.
Expectations of working with the private sector
It has been very rewarding and the business benefits have far greater reaching than what we had previously thought in our businesses case. Being able to tap into that expertise that we do not have in-house is certainly well worth the investment.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has had a huge and profound impact at RQIA. The important thing was the message that this was to connect all of the different teams, connect all of our intelligence, connect all of our reporting and to put everything under one platform so that everybody had insight into what RQIA does, as it is happening. There is a live view on dashboards for staff to view their workload and how they are progressing with it. Similarly, there are reporting capabilities for managers to be able to see what their team is doing and how they are doing it and to be able to make business decisions. Everybody is integrated using this platform and I would say that the vast majority of our staff use it daily and if anything happened, to any part of it they would definitely be crying at my desk. I feel that Dynamics has made such a fundamental difference to the way people work because originally people who had been IT adverse are completely engaged with it now.
We launched iConnect in the Summer 2014 and it was a very successful launch. The end user feedback was excellent and we had a launch event, it was well celebrated. We followed by the launch of our web portal just recently. Web Portal is an online facility that allows external users to be able to access the content that RQIA hold about them within iConnect. It also allows them to submit information to RQIA so not only have we derived our own internal business benefits but now the services that we regulate are benefitting from the system as well. They are able to push information to us, whereas before they would have been flooding us with piles of documents, emails and so on and Web Portal has addressed the risks related to that type of process.